Round Up: 10 Little-Known British Manufacturers Making Exciting Stuff

Jan 24, 2020
by Dan Roberts  



Previously, we took a look at 10 little-known German and 10 continental European manufacturers making exciting stuff.

Now it's time to cue the national anthem, fiercely defend the monarchy, and put the kettle on. We're off to Britain.





BETD GOLDTEC

Goldtec Hub Detail

BETD Hanger Manufacturing
A few of the countless mech hangers BETD make partway through manufacture.
Middleburn Cranks
BETD took over the manufacture of Middleburn components.

BETD Goldtec herald from Newcastle Under Lyme (not the Geordie one) in the UK.

Not the most well-known company, but highly regarded by people in the know, BETD are actually an engineering company offering their services to much more than the bike industry. But it’s bike parts that are at the heart of BETD. Brompton Engineering and Technical Design making up the BETD.

Their derailleur hanger collection is touted to be the biggest in the world with over 400 CNC machined hangers that in most cases, offer an upgrade over the standard hanger, not just a replacement.

Hubs are also a mainstay of their products with offerings for MTB. Their track and fixed hubs that they have enormous popularity with velodrome enthusiasts and bicycle couriers. Simple methods, like machining the bearing seats all in the same machine operation to ensure proper bearing alignment are details that are hidden away to the naked eye but mean their products continue to work as intended ride after ride.

Having spent a bit of time in their machine shop witnessing the bosses running a CNC lathe for hub axles, it’s brilliant to see that they know and can get involved at the shop floor. There is a humbleness and pride about what they do. Proudly manufactured in the UK isn’t just a marketing piece, it’s a nod to the fantastic array of skilled minds and magic fingers that reside in the UK.

Keeping things British, they also purchased and took over Middleburn when the brand announced it would close its doors. Lusted after cranks and chainrings are still available to purchase and are still manufactured in the UK to some of the highest standards of any a component manufacturer.

BETD's website.





WORKS COMPONENTS

Works Components Exploded Headset
Works Components Chainring

Based out of Staffordshire, Works Components focus solely on headsets and chainrings. This clear focus seems to have paid off with their products being used by the likes of Aaron Gwin and the Intense Factory Racing team, FMD Racing, UR Polygon and the YT Mob.

Headsets to suit all headtube dimensions all with options to adjust head angle by 1˚, 1.5˚ or 2˚ and reach adjust headsets available too. Works Components do an excellent job of labeling which headset fits in what frame and also the dimensions for the cups and assembled system so you can anticipate any changes in setup to account for the new headset.

They might all be anodized black and spend most of their time hiding away inside a frame, but the options Works Components deliver give endless opportunities to change your geometry and therefore, riding experience.

Chainrings are also available in most of the major fitments, sad how there are now a million, and in round and oval options. There are also various colour options available.

Works Components' website.





BURGTEC

Burgtec Pedal Manufacture

Burgtec Stems
Burgtec Enduro stems come in a variety of colours and are as hard wearing as their pedals.
Burgtec Pedals
Their Penthouse pedal still has a cult following among flat pedal riders.

Burgtec gained notoriety from their pedals. The Penthouse flats could take an absolute beating and developed a cult following. They also forayed into hubs, although the wild camo anodized units aren’t available anymore.

Their racing history starts with Dan Critchlow, one of the main men behind Burgtec, who raced World Cup DH for the likes of Yeti, Intense, Chain Reaction Intense and Morewood. The Macclesfield massive lead Burgtec to quickly being associated with riders like Josh Bryceland and Sam Dale, with the duo being local to the brand. Nowadays these guys still fly the flag for them but recent race seasons have seen Burgtec products on the Santa Cruz Syndicate’s bikes. It seems that the brand really does stay true to its passion for racing mountain bikes.

Their product line has grown since the early days and now encompasses everything from socks to saddles, bushings to bars and stems to seat posts. Their hallowed Penthouse flat pedals still stand proud in their range with added options for pedal body and axle material.

Macclesfield can have some pretty tough conditions and I honestly thought growing up there that parts of the forests there would never be dry. So Burgtec’s products are built to last.

This seems to be the theme with the British brands. While there are many British brands that push the limits of weight and manufacturing, most British brands make products that just crack on with the job in hand and continue working, day in day out, no matter the weather.

Burgtec's website.





UNITE


Unite Pedal Manufacturing
Unite's UK made pedal proudly standing to attention.
Unite CHainring Manufacturing
They also manufacture chainrings in their Welsh headquarters.

Unite are relatively new to the industry, only being established in 2016. But they’ve already got a solid line of products and the foundation of a good name in the UK.

Racer Andrew Cooper founded the brand on the Welsh border hills. With endless riding in either direction right from their headquarters ranging from trail centre madness to dark and dank forests, their products get a hammering when they are out for testing.

Their pedals look well thought out and their chain guides include clever details like a single spacer to cover all three ISCG tabs, so you’ll never be fumbling around under the washer for that missing spacer. It also seems that there will be a stem and set of bars on the way soon.

Unite offer out their manufacturing and design competencies to external brands and without disclosing individual brand names it appears they manufacture for brands all across the globe.

Unite's website.





SUPERSTAR

Superstar Hubs

Superstar Pulley Wheels
Pulley wheels as far as the eye can see.
Superstar Ratchets
Hub ratchet rings ready to be installed into Superstar hubs.

In 2006, Superstar was started with a simple vision, to cut out the middle man and sell high-quality parts direct to the customers at a sensible price

Superstar have grown from a guy selling brake pads from his bedroom to a company spanning 3 warehouses with a fleet of staff. Their product range has expanded greatly since the days of bedroom dealings and while there are a few bits and pieces that are made outside of the UK, the majority of their parts are machined in the UK. All their wheels are also built in-house.

Another focus was to make parts that are durable, however when the inevitable time does come to do some maintenance, they’re serviceable too. And all those service parts are available to buy.

There are other little efforts to improve the brand experience too with a 45-day brake pad trial period, in case you’re not happy with the pads, free wheel truing for life for the original owner, with crash rebuild deals available as well.

Machining everything in-house requires Superstar to own a lot of machinery. And it looks like they’re geeks too so, if you like watching machines turn chunks of metal into recognizable bike parts then they have a bunch of little videos on their YouTube channel that show behind the scenes.

Superstar's website.





BROOKS

Brooks Saddle Detail

Brooks Saddle
Brook's modern saddles still retain their historic details and form.
Brooks Saddle
While they include more modern forms of construction along-side their proud traditional design.

Brooks likely wins the award for the oldest brand we’ve looked at, started in 1866 by John Boultbee Brooks. Mr. Brooks arrived in Birmingham with £20 in his (likely) tweed pocket and established a company manufacturing leather harnesses and tackle for horses.

It wasn’t until 1878, when Mr. Brooks’ horse died that he tried out one of those, at that time, new-fangled bicycles. To his surprise, the seat was excruciatingly uncomfortable and with all his knowledge in leatherwork, the first Brooks saddle was conceived.

Since then, the bike saddle has continually been a part of Brooks whose history passes through each and every single landmark in the bicycle history. With forays off into luggage, cycling shoes, and clothing they have continued to craft leather saddles in the UK. Now, owned by Italian saddle giant Selle Royal the company DNA still shines vibrantly through in their products as Brooks still continue to make their almost trademark leather saddles with their distinctive shape, springs, and rivets.

Brooks continue to offer classic saddle designs and incorporate materials such as carbon fibre in certain models. They also

Brooks' website.






EXPOSURE & USE

Exposure Lights

USE Stem
USE's stem uses a wedge to clamp both the bar and the steerer.
Exposure Front MTB Light
Exposure lights come in all sizes and levels of light like this minature portable sun.

USE, or Ultimate Sports Engineering, is the company responsible for the design and production of USE components, Exposure cycle lights, and Exposure marine lighting.

The company started in 1990 and is nestled in the heart of the South Downs National Park. Their first component offering, the suspension seat post, brought USE quite the success in the industry. Since then they’ve gone on to produce components involved in both Olympic gold medals and King of the Mountain awards in the Tour de France.

Exposure makes bike lights in all sizes and outputs along with all the necessary components to attach the lights to yourself, your bike, or even chain systems together to precisely tailor their products to your needs. They even create dyno hubs, which generate power, removing the reliance on a fully charged battery.

USE also produce components including seat posts, bars, stems and dropper post levers. Their stems use a wedge system to clamp the bars and steerer, something seen in a few different stems over the years. The design leads to a smooth external shape, with the absence of the traditional clamp bolts, along with a low weight.

Additionally, they have a smorgasbord of road and aero components, if you’re not just bound by the MTB world.

Exposure's website.

USE's website.





FIBRAX

Fibrax Coloured Outer Cable

Fibrax Hydraulic Hose
Braided brake hoses are offered as an upgrade to the stock items from other brands.
Fibrax Disc Pads
Fibrax also manufacture replacement pads and rotors for a whole load of brake systems.

Another long-established UK brand is Fibrax, who produce moulded parts for predominantly for the cycle and automotive industries and have been around since 1902. Since 1970, they have produced in the Welsh town of Wrexham.

While lots of the brands in these articles have focused on the more jewellery like pieces that adorn our bikes, we can’t ignore the mechanical items that we take for granted like gear cables and housings. Yes, the electronic revolution is upon us, but it will be a mightily long time before we let go of our need for companies like Fibrax who provide the connection between our hands at one end of the bike and our moving components at the other end, especially when it comes to stopping.

Their line covers all the gear and brake, mechanical and hydraulic, items you would need from connectors and fittings to reels 400m long of outer cables. There are disc pads and rim brake blocks on offer too with rotors and cleaning solutions as well.

It doesn’t matter how fancy or expensive your mech is if you rig it up with a shit cable. You’re only as good as your weakest link.

Fibrax's website.





RACEWARE

RaceWare 3D Printed Components

RaceWare 3D Printed Components
RaceWare use 3D printing to manufacture all kinds of little components.
RaceWare 3D Printed Components
Customisation is available too with colours and additinonal personalised text available.

While a big majority of components we’ve looked at start life as a bigger entity to be whittled away to almost reveal the useful component hiding inside, RaceWare build their component up from zero.

Additive manufacturing is the bigger term for this method and RaceWare use 3D printing to generate mounts for lights and cycle computers and the odd bit of electronic drivetrain parts you may have on your bike.

Their history is in the additive manufacturing industry, so even they were able to offer quite the catalogue of parts in a short time frame from their inception in 2012.

Lots of their parts use SLS or Selective Laser Sintering whereby a high-powered laser fuses small particles of material into a three dimensional part. Once the laser has made one pass over the part a fresh layer of powdered material is drawn across and the process goes on again until the complete part is finished, one layer at a time. The sintering part meaning that the powdered material is compacted by the use of heat but not to the point of melting it to a liquid.

RaceWare not only manufacture from plastics, such as nylon, but titanium and carbon filled nylon too. They also offer customisation with printing in different colours and text being available to print on your product.





HOPE

Hope Original Brake

Hope Factory Barnoldswick
Hope not only manufactures in-house, they also test in-house to standards often far exceeding the industry norms.
Through the years - development of the Hope hubs.
This isn't their first rodeo, and it shows in the performance of their products.

It’s hard to compile a list of UK manufacturers and not mention Hope. While they have probably grown larger than "little-known", they are still one of the best UK manufacturers out there.

Hope came about in 1985 with mates Ian Weatherill and Simon Sharp departing Rolls Royce Aerospace to start their own venture as toolmaker IPCO, Instant Precision CO, crafting fixtures and jigs for aerospace companies. Both men were avid motorcycle trials riders and as is often the case with bike brands, it’s their passion that eventually came to be the driving force of their future. Unhappy with how current cantilever brakes were performing they set out, with fellow employee Owen Hardisty, to making their own.

After making enough disc brakes and accompanying hubs for themselves and their mates, they set up Hope Technology to sell the brakes and hubs to the masses.

Since I was knee-high to a grasshopper I’ve always lusted after Hope’s components. And even today they still continue this theme to craft components that I and others desire. Being a bit older, I now not only lust after them for their beauty but also for their performance, which has seen at least one of their parts on each and every one of my bikes.

A guided wander of the Barnoldswick factory only elevated my respect for this UK brand with their shop floor being a buzzing hive of machines and people, all working hard to create the best components possible. Their offices are just above that shop floor and it was a delight to see individuals high up in the hierarchy, in the shop, programming laser printing machines or monitoring the progress of mould machining for their carbon frames. There’s even a wicked pump track out the front.

What was even better were the corridors in between the various workshops that were filled with mountain, road and motor bikes. Each one smattered with their CNC goodness.

Hope’s philosophy really embodies the UK way of doing things. Make something that lasts with the minimum amount of weight to make it reliable.

Hope's website.







While not a comprehensive list, we endeavoured to show the lesser-known British brands out there making cool parts. We know there'll be some that we didn't get to that you guys know of, so let us know your suggestions in the comments. We're always keen to discover more brands doing it in-house.






195 Comments

  • 256 25
 Hope ... lesser known ?? What rock you been living under ?
  • 11 5
 I know right..
  • 72 1
 "While they have probably grown larger than "little-known", they are still one of the best UK manufacturers out there."
  • 51 3
 Yeah... Hope, Brooks... ``little-known manufacturers``, on Mars or Jupiter may be.
Anyway, thanks to Pinkbike for that jewelry report. Gorgeous Smile
  • 19 4
 Hello africa tell me how you doing
  • 13 5
 I was going to say the same. Hope is probably the most prevalent producer of parts. I'm Canadian and know about Hope.
  • 14 0
 Everyone knows hope and brooks, RideWorks and Carbon Wasp should of got a mention
  • 4 3
 Never heard of Hop. They look similar to a brand in the UK called Hope. Oh wait a minute...yup, read that wrong.
  • 10 0
 I was scrolling through this like "I better not see Hope on here..."
  • 8 3
 R.I.P. Ti-Springs.com
  • 6 2
 @youknowitsus: yes they're useless, good riddance
  • 1 1
 Those drugs in water bottles as doing some magic today!
  • 2 1
 I'm going to buy a $200 Brooks leather seat for my street bike and do a 360 dub whip to horrible get off first ride.
  • 2 2
 Hope is also known in Singapore and Philippines where I lived/worked before.
  • 2 0
 @softsteel: you're wrong. the martians know all about Hope because that's how popular Hope is.
  • 2 0
 @donpinpon29: Fine thanks. Trails were good this afternoon.
  • 1 0
 @youknowitsus: Ti springs go out of business or..?
  • 1 1
 @pigman65: agreed. They charged $30 to ship an ounce of ti bolts in a 4x6 envelope across the ocean in 3 weeks.
  • 6 3
 @Screti: Not normally prone to roasting on this site, but READ THE ARTICLE BEFORE LAUNCHING YOUR ROCKET YOU DAFT COONT... READ!!! "While they have probably grown larger than "little-known"
  • 1 0
 @youknowitsus: they wanted like $40 USD to ship a spring to the US. They really limited their market share by not figuring out shipping.
  • 1 0
 @lognar: at least you received them, that was their main problem, taking the money and gaining interest on it
  • 1 0
 @pigman65: I actually never bought anything because I just couldn’t bring myself to get that knowingly ripped off on shipping. They said that was how much P&P cost, but having bought numerous things from a variety of other UK sources, they were either lying, or daft. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the outcome. Too bad, too... their stuff looked really cool.
  • 1 0
 @erikkellison: a huge problem was the fact they were selling ti- bolts that were from China and you can easily pick up off alliexpress for £1-2 a bolt. Also they claimed the springs were made ‘in house’ in England but they were obviously in China
  • 3 2
 This is what happens when you believe the world begins at the west coast of the USA and ends at the east one.
  • 136 3
 No mention of Sick Bicycle ? They look really promising
  • 56 0
 They really delivered
  • 18 0
 They keepin it very little-known these days
  • 3 0
 Sick brah
  • 7 0
 Promises are 25% off on SickBike.com today.
  • 4 3
 R.I.P. Ti-Springs.com
  • 2 0
 @youknowitsus: not surprised. They had some serious qc issues.
  • 1 1
 What happened to them? They still going?
  • 1 1
 @thenotoriousmic: Dunno man. It's over though. Bummed.
  • 1 2
 Pity they couldn’t run their business as I’m loving my frame. Long live the on one hello Dave Smile
  • 2 0
 @vid1998: *rarely
  • 5 0
 @youknowitsus: A lot of people are owed money by 'Sick' - I am sure they are a little more 'bummed' - Sick don't deserve any positive opinion that's for sure, total and utter shower of shite.
  • 37 0
 Works components headsets are brilliant, bringing modern geometry to not so new bikes. Fit and forget
  • 10 0
 Totally agree, durable bearings, reasonable price and not even one logo on the headset itself
  • 5 0
 I have a -1 degree headset on my V1 Bronson. It's improved the bike's handling on steep and rough stuff while never making so much as a tiny creak. Great product.
  • 3 0
 Yep, used a few now... one on a previous bike, another on my wife's bike to update the HA and give her a little more confidence and one on my kids bike for similar reasons. No issues with any of them... just does the job.
  • 3 0
 They also have the best crown race in the business. Integrated seal, split race for tool free installation/removal, and made from aluminum so it won't cause galvanic corrosion on your steer tube.

No mention of it in their product blurbs, I guess they don't want to make a fuss lol.
  • 6 0
 Coming from a Cane Creek Angleset, their Headset was such an upgrade
  • 5 0
 @kazwei:
...and QUIET
Opposed to some others(coughcanecreekcough), Works' offset headsets don't sound like your front end is breaking off every time you land
  • 3 0
 Great customer service too
  • 2 0
 For those wondering (because I was) they don't advertise ZS44/ZS56 headsets because their EC44/ZS56 headsets fit those frames with tapered ZS headtubes
  • 1 0
 I came upon Works by accident when I bought a used frame that had a headset in it... I still have the same headset almost three years later, on a different bike. Love it.
  • 2 0
 @xeren: and if anybody wonders why, it's so the increased stack is put above the frame, so it doesn't affect BB height and such, like some other angle adjust headsets which put it under the frame.
  • 16 0
 I hope Brooks was added to this list as a joke. “Lesser known”... khm.. khm..
  • 12 14
 You mean a Brooks saddle on a MTB? Is this some Down Country thing - vibing decadence on chicken lines? Smile
  • 2 2
 @WAKIdesigns: The Brooks Cambium series are not made out of leather and could possibly be used on MTBs...
  • 1 0
 @softsteel: I used to ride the narrow C13, it's just horrible... Too stiff, too sharp & too heavy.
  • 1 0
 @qreative-bicycle: Agreed: Brooks Cambium series are everything except confortable... and they cost more than a leather saddle.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: as pointed out by other users they indeed have a saddle that can be used on MTB. But that wasn't my main point. My main point was that I HOPE that this list was a joke... but never mind, it's was an attempt to manufacture a pinkbike pun, which was a bad idea in a first place
  • 2 0
 I have a leather Brooks saddle on my mountain bike.. It looks a bit weird but it's comfortable for long distances
  • 1 0
 I have a Brooks B17 on my MTB because they don't crack at -40C, which some other materials will do.
  • 4 9
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2020 at 12:11) (Below Threshold)
 @Dangerous-Dan: I will put it mildly... I’d rather use brooks saddle on a hardtail with 250mm fork and 93 degree seat angle than ride any bike at -40... You just made one of the most original arguments that I have ever read anywhere about anythhing related to two wheels powered by legs pushing on pedals
  • 1 2
 @Dangerous-Dan:
Where I grew up there was a short burst if a few of us from the cycling club trying to out do each other on coldest riding including wind chill. I think the record was like -127 F. Turns out rubber tires are crazy slow at -55 F and it was super hard to go very fast even down paved roads.
  • 2 0
 @nordland071285: yeah not sure what's weird about this, good saddles are good for MTB too.
  • 1 0
 Yes, how is the world's oldest, best established saddle producer lesser known? I'm surprised they didn't add their neighbour, Reynolds tubing (someone might not have heard of them) .
  • 17 1
 Hope a little known manufacturer?
And Brooks?

Even my parents know Brooks and theyre not at all into cycling.
  • 18 0
 my mum bought be a brooks race spec leather saddle, and I'm happy to say after 10 years of riding it my arse has finally stopped bleeding. They say a Brooks takes 50 years to break in so I'm looking forward to finally getting my dream of a comfortable ride when I reach my deathbed. Saying all that it looks proper class on my roadbike Smile You don't break-in a brooks, it breaks you in
  • 2 0
 @hambobet: Sounds like they retain (if not gain) their value on the used market.
  • 1 0
 @hambobet: There are a few ways of softening leather but they are pretty grim.
  • 14 1
 BETD; Brompton Engineering & Technical Design; What's the relation to the 'little known' folding bike company?

I'd agree that Hope is tenuous on this list, fantastic manufacturing, but hardly little known. I'd have added Uberbike to the list, based in Sheffield, and cracking out some of the best brake pads I've ever used in addition to the typical array of shiny anodised components
  • 2 0
 Ummm - Its Brampton Engineering and Technical Design not Brompton - Nothing to do with each other.
  • 13 0
 Yep, while Uberbike are a bit of a "me too" operation (not #metoo), they probably fit the brief better.
I'd have included Invisiframe, they are a cracking little business making a best-in-class product with great service.
  • 10 0
 @chakaping: Good call on Invisiframe.
  • 5 0
 @dan-roberts: It's not too late to slip them in.
We also lead the world in MTB mudguards that actually work.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: Uber are the go to brake pads on most sites i see, same as Invisiframe, although IF no longer sell separate bits from their kits, which is bollox !
  • 1 0
 @pigman65: I called them "me too" in that they were selling the same kind of Far East-produced bits as Superstar when they started up.
Personally I've not been impressed with their chainrings' lifespan, they seem to wear much quicker than Superstar ones, but yes they appear to be the market leader for cheap brake pads now.
Thought this feature was more about innovative products than cheap imported consumables though.
  • 4 0
 @chakaping: a by product of leading the world in mud
  • 8 0
 Never occurred to me that people outside the UK might not have heard of Exposure lights. Are they popular overseas? If not, you lot are really missing out - and what lights do you use? They are almost the default choice for experienced MTBers here. So good to use compared to separate wires & batteries.
  • 2 0
 Were in vogue in australia with roadies for a while.
  • 3 0
 I own three of the in Australia and probably could have sent one of my kids to college for the amount they cost, but I love them anyway!
I’ve had some bad luck though and two out of the three are back in the UK for repairs! Admittedly I put one them through the wash in my shorts pocket.... still the best out there.
  • 1 0
 USE is known well enough over here in The Netherlands. I use a Lupine lightset now, which is made in Germany. As for missing out, I don't know. If it works and I can ride, I am not missing out Wink .

With all the attention linkage forks are getting these days, maybe USE should start making forks again. Will probably sell, saves you at least half the number of bearings compared to Trust Wink .
  • 2 3
 Its known but still I would allways prefere a Lupine over everything. At the end of the month most UK products will get less interesting :-(

Hopefully the Hope prices do not raise.
  • 2 0
 @Chridel: I don't know about USE but Lupine repairs their products when you happen to break them, they can upgrade them if possible and if your battery pack is finally worn out you can send it in and get a good discount on a new one. USE will probably repair their products too but I don't know about their policies on batteries. I also like that if you want to upgrade to a new (different type of) lamphead you just get that (and maybe the remote) as the batteries, charger and maybe even the mounts will still fit.
  • 1 0
 I have an Exposure Maxx D on my MTB. It's about ten years old and has never failed despite probably being used and abused over a thousand times. HEAVY night riding and commuting duty in Southern Tasmania. Super bright, quality light beam with great duration. One of the best bits of kit I own.
  • 1 0
 Stateside I hear a lot about Light & Motion, but everyone has their own setup they prefer. I really liked Serfas' bar light and a L&M light on my helmet.
  • 1 0
 I've got an Exposure Diabolo, I lost the first one and liked it enough to buy a second.
  • 7 0
 Royce hubs would qualify as little known but are absolutely awesome...and made in in the UK.
  • 1 0
 Bling
  • 4 0
 The world is a better place for Works Components. So stoked they are doing what they are doing. I won't buy a frame with an integrated headset since it won't take a WC headset... and I know I will eventually want to put one in.
  • 4 0
 Too bad quality forging is so expensive. High-quality forged cranks/stems are stronger and lighter than machined stuff. Syntace megaforce 2 stem is 30g lighter than a Burgtec stem and comes with ti hardware for nearly half the price. Yet it seems like most people still prefer cnc’d stems.
  • 5 0
 Middleburn cranks are the best out there! Anyone who's had a pair knows they are also the most tactile product out there...
  • 1 0
 I can't see me ever getting rid of mine, shame they are ISIS Drive BB but hey ho!
  • 3 1
 I love Superstar and buy all my wheels and headsets from them. They have gone from having good value imported things to super nice in house made things. Have to mention the new V6 in house made hubs, makes me happy to hear the cosy buzzing in the rear every ride.
  • 1 0
 I wouldnt say their stuff is any higher quality since moving in-house from what I have heard of old (outsourced) V new hubs and the pedals as they were realistically good value, quite decent parts beforehand - some stuff is definately in-stock more though and the wheels at sale price super cheap.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: I still have some Superfast (9mm qr) and Superstrong (20x110) front hubs. I quit using the Superfast hub because it no longer fits my forks but the Superstrong hub runs as smooth as ever. It isn't quite that the quality of the imported/branded goods wasn't there, but it was just that the manufacturer would change specifications without prior notice so from what I've heard they've had issues with keeping quality consistent because of this. They've got more control over the product now that they've reeled in house.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Yea I get that, but people seem to be complaining more about the UK made hubs than the imported stuff - teething problems I am sure play a large part in this though and fair play to Superstar for taking them in-house. Their machinery is certainly very impressive.
  • 2 0
 As a Brit I like buying UK made stuff, but getting Superstar orders sent to Japan became crazy expensive last decade.

They use the DPD courier service from the UK, and DPD quote about USD 50 to send a 2kg package to Japan from the UK direct from the DPD website.

Superstar's website charges USD 392 to send a set of Nano pedals by the same courier.

I spoke to someone at Superstar about it and they alluded to the idea that sourcing parts from the other side of the world was not something they felt able to support, and without directly saying so, insinuated the postage is set artificially high to discourage small parts orders from far flung places due to concerns about carbon footprints.

To which I raised a "who built their customer base initially on Asian made parts anyways" eyebrow (it is amazing how Novatec DB hubs can interchange adapters with Switch hubs), but then later thought, "Well, they are to be applauded really, I see their point."

I get them sent to my folks place in the UK and then pick them up when I visit instead.
  • 1 0
 @orientdave: doesn’t sound too sensible buying parts you have to collect from an entirely different country to save a few quid - if you have any warranty issues or need spares what then?
  • 3 0
 @justanotherusername: I hope no-one thinks I fly to the UK just to pick up Superstar pedals!!! If I am planning to visit the folks anyway and am in need of some cockpit parts, hubs or pedals.. i get some sent to their place before I go.... two birds with one stone. It's more wanting to support UK businesses than saving a few quid TBH.
  • 1 2
 @orientdave: Aah, no I get that, what I meant was it would be very difficult to get support / spares once you are outside of the UK with Superstars current shipping costs - so if you bend an axle, you could be waiting until your next trip to the UK to get a sprare, or something like a freehub failure.

Superstar are obviously busy enough with their UK / European sales that they dont want the head-ache of selling outside of the EU - how much that will change if Brexit alters the way the UK trades who knows....
  • 1 2
 @justanotherusername: Absolutely agree on the Brexit point; being an ex-pat I am waiting with baited breath. As for spares, I have so many sets of beat up Nano pedals here along with bearing and pin replacement sets that I am likely to be dribbling into my colostomy bag at the old folks home before I run out!! Enjoy the weekend!
  • 1 0
 Why do they not ship to the US. Is it a liability insurance thing perhaps?
  • 1 0
 @MeloBikes: I think the whole point of Superstarcomponents for us Europeans now is that you can buy European made products that aren't extremely expensive. As you may have noticed in these articles (Germany, Europe, now UK) most of these products made in Europe are particularly refined hence expensive. Most of us just don't need that for playing in the dirt. So this is a good alternative to products made in Asia. But obviously for someone in the US, it doesn't quite matter whether something is made in Asia or Europe, it is both far away. However, someone could do something similar in the US to what Superstarcomponents does in the UK and probably do well. I also think that the North American cycling market is relatively small compared to the European market so it would be quite a hassle to deal with. Now of course after the Brexit the EU market will be slightly more of a hassle too, which is a first for them considering how new the company is. But at least the EU market is still nearby and quite big.

As for liability insurance, I don't think that would be the case for the products Superstarcomponents makes. I have talked to people who make ice speed skates in the Netherlands though and they indeed have to make skates for the US market blunt before shipping. Because if they ship them sharp (like they do for everyone else) and someone over there would hurt themselves, they could face huge financial claims. One top ice speed skater (Erben Wennemars) actually found his skates (not even in hand luggage) made blunt by customs. So the night before the race he had to sharpen them again in his hotel room. So yeah, the US market sure is a bit special and you don't deal with it if you don't have to Wink .
  • 1 0
 @vinay:
I think there is a pretty strong reason for a person in the US to select a product made in the EU(or UK once the break up is complete) over a product made in Asia. Especially if the product is of good quality and competitive prices. If everything else was equal, I would personally select products in this order: US, then North America, then Europe(tied with south America, but I haven't found any products from there) then the rest of the world. I would do so for environmental and wage equality reasons.

I haven't done enough research to know how big the aftermarket bicycle industries compare, but overall the US bicycle market is just under half the size of the EU. Gotta remember we really are just phenomenal at consuming.

I guess another issue that could keep them away is how immediate many people here would want services completed in case of warranty or other claims. That could mean to superstar that they would need to set up a North America service center, to avoid having a bunch of impatient customer negative reviews.

IDK really, it was just a bummer looking through their site, and thinking "This looks great. Good quality, good prices, made in the UK, I'm in.... Oh you won't ship to me... Dang it."
  • 1 0
 @MeloBikes: Yeah, good point and I get it. The distance really is an issue as you mention though. I recall from when Magura did everything from their office/factory in Bad Urach (and service in Laichingen nearby). European customers were happy, Australian and American customers, not quite so. It just takes weeks for a boat with spares to reach the customer. And they actually had agents in these other continents, but just not necessarily the spares and fixes for everything. So yeah, if Superstar dives head into the NA market but isn't able to deliver, it is going to mess with their reputation. It is just not worth it.

Asia isn't necessarily last in line for me though. I consider Taiwan and Japan on par with North America in terms of environment and worker conditions. Maybe not completely there, but close. Way different from China I'd say. I'm not sure about Indonesia and Malaysia yet.

Of course I am in a comfortable situation now. I've got a bike I am really happy with so if I'm going to upgrade anything, I can take the time to save up for something that may be special in a way. Something made locally, a company I really like etc. It is very different if you're a teen with time to ride but little money to buy something half decent and lift passes, trips etc. I guess we've all been there. Bike, disc brakes, suspension, kinda fits... good, let's go shred.
  • 6 1
 Hope is the best hubs of all time hands down. You can't beat the value, you just can't!
  • 2 0
 So, they may not make exiting stuff, but I thought Weldtite should be mentioned. Cyclo brand tools and other stuff keeping bikes going. Has more to do with MTB than brooks. It says they have a factory, so I guess some of it made in the UK?
www.weldtite.co.uk/about-weldtite
  • 5 0
 Are Hope and Burgtec little known outside of the UK?
  • 14 33
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2020 at 0:25) (Below Threshold)
 Not sure but I have had many conversations with Brits in here and Burgtec has been "kindly" pushed into my face on several occasions. Like Hope brakes. Like... love it or go fk yourself. enthusiastic / aggressive. Whenever Burgtec releases something trivial like a stem, some folks make it into a second coming of Christ.
  • 2 1
 UK brands typically get enough mainstream attention so yeah, most of these brands are well known outside the UK. It obviously helps that more people can understand English than there are people who understand German, let alone Polish, Slovakian etc. So if you go to the website of brand that sells direct, you can read what it says and decide whether to buy the product or not. If you go to a website and everything is Polish, it may look fancy but if you don't understand the reasoning/design behind it soon enough you (or at least I) move on. For instance I think Alex Claus from Portus makes amazing steel bikes. But his website is primarily in German. So people still associate proper steel bikes with English manufacturers, right? Fair enough there are way more of them but still I think the international audience is typically not paying attention simply because they don't know what he writes down.

As for how well known these brands are known outside the UK, I was actually surprised to find out that there weren't more brands I have never heard of. This was much more the case when they featured Germany or the rest of Europe.
  • 11 3
 @WAKIdesigns: look in the mirror and read what you just wrote here!
  • 7 2
 @WAKIdesigns: WTF are you on about pal
  • 8 7
 @WAKIdesigns: what’s your problem bro? You always make stupid comments that get downvoted. Maybe try a different tactic...
  • 2 3
 @WAKIdesigns: I only found out Burgtec were from the UK last year, I always assumed they were Canadian for some reason
  • 2 1
 @philmtb99: Nah, his comments get voted both ways. I think I get what he meant to say though. Compared to these German or "other European" brands mentioned in the other articles, some of these UK brands have quite a strong media presence. Whereas from those "other" brands I see some amazing and refined products I have never heard of, some of these brands here go through a [spy shot] - [prototype] - [athlete spotted with] - [first look] - [just released] - [long term review] cycle. Now I definitely exaggerate here too, but well, there sure is a different balance. Personally I don't care too much, apparently Waki does.

I realize for small quantities CNC, 3D printing and hand lay-up are the way to realize a product, so that's what small companies do. But that doesn't necessarily make them better (for the job at hand) than injection moulded, extruded (before machining) or forged products. I don't see the point of some of these fully CNCd pedals that still have a more or less constant cross section (hence would have made much more sense if started from an extruded profile) and I definitely don't expect a fancy CNCd stem to perform better than (or even as good as) a forged stem from Spank. The biggest selling point I'd buy into is that if you get Hope brakes and you like them, you can kind of trust that you'll be able to use them forever. If you break something, they'll be able to send you spares to fix it. Same probably goes for those stems. If you crash and lose the entire faceplate in the mud (seen it happen), you can get a replacement. Which, depending on how you're wired, doesn't hurt as much as having to dispose of an otherwise fine piece of gear. Aside from the actual crash, that is of course Wink .
  • 5 18
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2020 at 2:20) (Below Threshold)
 @everyone - Well, let me explain myself: I have been sat down by a couple of folks from British Islands when I asked a simple question under press release of Burgtec stem and then few weeks late pedals last year. Several people were saying Burgtec is amazing and all. My question basically was: what on Earth is so damn special about a bloody stem? or pedal? Whoever makes it. For comaprison the reaction to same kind of question under release of Industry 9 stem wasn't as vivid...

As to Hope brakes, please, every God damn time there is a Sram on Shimano brake review or focus on brakes in a bike review the British Hope fanclub chimes in...

I apologize for being racist to British people... I remember the good old times when we could kick the last crap out of white Christian males voting for right wing parties... I guess whites are no longer privileged...

P.S. I remember Billy Connolly saying something about Scottish people being pale blue and Irish being kind of pink... then all The Scotts, Welsh, Jordies or Manchester UTD fans... apologies again to racially and culturally vibrant indigenous inhabitants of the Great Britain Smile
  • 4 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Hope brakes do offer a different alternative to something like a Shimano / Sram system though - Some like how they feel, some dont but they are different and a high quality item (Ok I get what you mean about people chiming in with other brands unrelated to the review though)

As for stuff like Burgtec stems I agree, there is a super big fanbase for Burgtec gear in the UK, likely fuelled by Ratboy, Peaty etc using them and the cockpit being instangly recognisable with the big burgtec logo on the bars - It is probably not justified for such simple parts with no real standout features but they are a quality item that will last.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: are the burgtec pedals better than dmr vaults?
  • 1 0
 @aliclarkson: ali is the 5010 holding up well your abuses? keep on with your great stuff on youtube
  • 1 0
 @funkzander: Define 'better' I suppose - they are different enough that personal preference would decide that one.
  • 2 8
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 24, 2020 at 3:52) (Below Threshold)
 @justanotherusername: I am actually happy Superstar components is here. Because I have some of their stuff and it never failed me. The El-plastique pedals, I'd buy them again and again it's just that they don't want to die...
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: agree, but what’s that to do with Burgtec?

Oh, the plastic pedal isn’t made by superstar, it’s a HT open model item they no longer sell themselves.
  • 1 0
 @funkzander: Yeah it's doing great! Treated it to some new pads and a chain and it's feeling dialled Smile Thanks for watching Big Grin
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I think people who are particularly fond of a brand will always try and push it at you to justify their need for it. I've had people try and push the uberbike stuff over superstar stuff, it's kinda both the same but I'll always go superstar as I bought that stuff first.

I'll agree with you about a stem being just a stem with not great impact on the bike unless you're a colour match geek (I am).
  • 1 0
 @funkzander: I personally think so. I'm one of the few that didn't have a very good experience with two sets of Vaults. Multiple bent axles and pins pulling thru the body. Burgtec have been rock solid, albeit a slightly smaller platform than some.
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: thanks for your experience. i have two pairs of the brendog vaults and they are flawless since years. had always dx and saint pedals but prefer the vaults. for my next pair i perhaps try out a pair of the penthouse burgtecs. but today the flatpedal market has so much great options, would also like to try out some one up or ht pedals. spank spike were also nice which i had on a bike that i sold with them. back in the 90ies i had gt bmx style, crupi, odyssee black widows (my shins look like a mine field)
  • 2 0
 Superstar gave up on brake pads a year or two ago, should've given them a mention for their pedals and chainrings - the best and probably most-popular UK-made stuff they knock out now.
  • 2 0
 Doesnt look like any of the brands were asked for a description of what they do etc and this was written from what the author could see - Superstars website is still full of old stuff they dont really sell anymore, you would need to follow them on social media etc to know otherwise.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Yeah, their website typically has 12 promos for reduced road wheelsets before you get to the discount pedals you were after.
  • 1 0
 I have two of their raptor oval chainrings, and more importantly, their slackerizer headset.i used it to upgrade my cotic bfe 26er and am really impressed. It is only available in -2° format,as opposed to works components,but it's about half the price. And for my requirements it was the perfect solution. Also,mtheirnshipping costs to mainland Europe are a meagre 5 quid, at least pre brexit. And I also appreciate that many of their products are made in the UK.
  • 4 0
 UK invented the genre "Little Manufacturers Making Exciting Stuff" - looking at you Lotus, Caterham and Ariel
  • 5 0
 Or Thomas Newcomen, Richard Arkwright, James Watt...
  • 3 0
 @jamessmurthwaite: sorry if they don't make bikes or cars then i don't know 'em ;D
  • 1 0
 @nouseforaname: Big Grin cheers

nice username!
  • 2 0
 Sorry but superstar are naff. Components are cheap and don’t last other then their flat pedals. They are cheap for a reason. But on the plus for all those without the big spending abilities you cannot really go wrong.
  • 1 0
 BETD goldtec were the company for trick bits back in the day. They seemed to just go quite and didn’t grow like some companies did.

Used to run goldtec hubs on Mavis 321 rims on my giant atx1 used them for years after the rest of the bike went
  • 3 0
 @cypher74 BETD back in the day made Konas the bikes they should have been. The original stab with the BETD upgrade to 7” travel was brilliant
  • 1 0
 @StevieJB: got nearly 6 inches out of my ATX with those plates. Both chainstays died a week later. Nice while it lasted though.
  • 1 0
 I'm so glad that Hope is a well known brand they make wicked stuff that works great. My buddy got one of the first disk brakes to hit North America from Hope. Not to be compared to the big S companies in my opinion . Still looks like sweet machined jewelry to me.
  • 2 0
 I had a BETD seat stay it for my Big Hit. Gave the ability to run a 26" wheel (remember those?) instead of the 24.

I'd love Hope to make ONE quiet rear hub then I'd happily own them again.
  • 1 0
 Hey PinkBike, the content was okay, but the writing (diction) was terrible. Your other articles are wonderful (and free! - thank you for that). But this one was simply painful to read. Does your editor know this one slipped by un-proofed?
  • 1 0
 @workscomponents

The Works Components brand are not on the same level of some other brands like Hope or Burgtec. They make good products but they can not do customer service. The instructions were really bad, they don't have any videos or so ever for helping you installing the millimetric parts of the headset. I were to several mechanics from Oslo and Chile and they couldn’t make it right. The bearings have one month of use and they look bad broken and they make a sound you can't ride with if you got a carbon bike. Really disappointed!
  • 5 2
 Hope does not belong here as they arent little known. No thanks to the rest except works components
  • 4 1
 Not a fan of the aesthetics of the Burgtec stem but their pedals and bars look nice enough.
  • 2 0
 Shame the Axles are so stubby out the box. Bought a pair for the Mrs and they are waaaay too close to the crank arm.. Talk aboht getting your foot trapped on occasion.
  • 1 0
 I didn’t like how they look either, at first. But then I got one and now I love how it looks on my bike. It grows on you. Like a fungus.
  • 1 1
 @dan-roberts Has there been a memorandum with these series of articles to avoid frame builders, and concentrate only on the component manufacturers? I think there are some companies doing exciting stuff with frames that have been left out.
  • 3 0
 Despite there being a couple of brands who do produce a frame or two, the focus has been on components. A frame only feautre with the same little-known and making exciting stuff idea is definitely do-able.
  • 2 0
 BETD are a fantastic firm. Their support is phenomenal and managed to get a mech hanger to Vancouver in 24hours so my BCBR didn't get messed up.
  • 3 0
 BETD old school Spec. Enduro linkages still hold a special place for me. Those things were awesome.
  • 2 0
 Maybe not now, but in the past BETD actually made Burgtec hubs, maybe other parts too? So no suprise they both make good stuff.
  • 1 0
 Well now I'm thinking, while it may be derivative, I want that Vyce stem. It's light as hell and if it's anything like the elementary stem that came before it, it must have awesome clamping force.
  • 2 0
 Hope, Brooks... Alright then. So where is real small company's like this one: rideworks.cc
  • 3 0
 They forgot about DMR on this list. Or are they TOO little known?
  • 1 0
 I would love to see the shops that these small manufacturers are working out off. I'm not a machinist or an engineer but I have extensive keyboard experience in both.
  • 1 0
 So that USE stem is just a blatant rip off of the overly complicated and unnecessary Odyssey Elementary from ten years ago? GSport George is pissed.
  • 1 0
 Yeah pretty much, except the Odyssey actually looked cool.
  • 2 0
 Burgtech, HOPE....is this a joke? What drugs in water bottle are we on today?
  • 1 0
 At this point anodized machined parts are almost mundane. Almost. And, like, that stem design was already made by Odyssey like 15 years ago.
  • 2 0
 Mudhugger gets my UK vote. They also got my withering UK ££. Love their mudguards.
  • 1 0
 These posts are nice but so far they've been pretty Western centric. How about a focus on the brilliant stuff presented by African or South American manufacturers?
  • 1 0
 Hope, Brooks and Exposure are only little known if you believe the World starts at the west coast of the usa and ends at the east one.
  • 1 0
 Not sure why Hope is in there. Literally everyone knows who they are. There are lots of smaller companies that should have been included.
  • 2 0
 Things that just work as they should...Unite chain guide.
  • 2 0
 Love the guyz from Superstar, they are making cheap and reliable stuff
  • 1 0
 recently buy superstar hub very nice quality for cheap price in think it is a great alternative of hope
  • 1 0
 Must check out cranks and hubs from this Hope company you mention, not sure I like the look of their disc brakes though.
  • 3 0
 I like this series
  • 2 0
 Please do not stop this series.....so good.
  • 1 0
 Although Brooks is not "little known". they are a big company with a rich history.
  • 3 0
 What about Royce?
  • 1 0
 I always used Goldtech chainrings back in the day, didnt know betd goldtech were still going... who's next... Hanebrink?
  • 1 0
 Years ago I stopped riding Chris king hubs and switched to hope. Never looked back.
  • 1 0
 Pace Cycles

Nothing like there heyday but still around.

pacecycles.com
  • 1 0
 how do they machine all that? i hear sharp objects were outlawed over there.
  • 1 0
 I’m definitely going to keep these companies in mind when I’m buying parts again
  • 2 0
 Pace not mentioned?
  • 4 0
 For the forks they made 15 years ago that all the oil came out when you turned the bike upside down?
Wink
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: for the new bike they make?
  • 1 0
 @kusa: I think these features are just about components, rather than bikes/frames. The Pace forks were a joke for years after they sold that bit of the business to DT.
  • 1 0
 I don't understand why Offset Bushings is not on the list.
  • 1 0
 Keep these articles coming Smile
  • 1 0
 Little known companies, I don't think so.
  • 1 0
 wow, Brompton is actually a place...who knew?
  • 1 0
 had 2 u s e seatposts back in the day still miss them
  • 1 0
 Brooks and Hope little known? to who?
  • 1 0
 Superstar wheels are the best i have owned!!!
  • 1 0
 I'm sorry, Hope and Brooks are "little known"?
  • 1 0
 I want to see the USE anti-dive fork with a modern lefty damper!?!
  • 1 0
 Nothing better then the look of machined aluminum and anodization. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Rideworks do some cool stuff!
  • 1 0
 Pace do a component or two, whence my mention.
  • 1 0
 Unite, never heard of them but I like what I see.
  • 1 0
 They also
  • 1 0
 Absolute Black?
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